four hundred yards with infinite caution, but as noth-
ing occurred to hinder our progress there is nothing
narratable about it. I hadn't the time on me; crawl-
ing on my stomach might have smashed my watch-
glass if it had been in my pocket, and its luminosity
would have been out of place on my wrist. But what
a relief it was, to be away from time and its petty
tyrannies, even when one's heart was in one's mouth.
Behind us loomed the sentry-posts and ttye impres-
sive sweep of the line, where poor old Vclmorc was
peering anxiously out while he awaited our return.
It really felt as though Corporal Davies and I had got
the best of it out there. We were beyond all inter-
ference by Brigadiers.
Just when I least expected it the German machine-
gun fired a few rounds, for no apparent reason except
to allow us to locate it. We were, as far as I could
judge, less than fifty yards from it and it seemed
uncomfortably near. I looked at Davies, whose coun-
tenance was only too visible, for the sky was growing
pale and we must have been out there well over two
hours, Davies needed no prompting. He had already
pulled out the pin of a bomb. So, to cut a long story
short, we crawled a bit nearer, loosed off the lot, and
retreated with the rapidity of a pair of scared badgers.
I don't for a moment suppose that we hit anybody,
but the deed was done, and when we were more than
half-way home I dropped into the sunken road, and
only the fact that I was out on a patrol prevented me
from slapping my leg with a loud guffaw.
Now that it was all over I was exuberantly excited.
It had been tremendous fun, and that was all there